Local News

Camera Ban at Some Cumberland Graduations Getting a Negative Response

Posted May 22, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— High school graduation is a milestone for students and their parents. It is usually an event celebrated with pride and in pictures. At some Cumberland County graduations, cameras are being banned.

Seniors at Terry Sanford High School are preparing for graduation, but they will not be able to remember the cherished day with personal pictures or video of the ceremony.

More than 140 seniors at the school have signed a petition asking principal Al Miller to allow parents and students to bring still and video cameras to the ceremony.

Miller says the cameras would be too disruptive.

"We'd like to have every parent hear their child's name called, and if we have parents constantly moving up and down the aisle that might not happen," he says.

One professional photographer and videographer will be allowed at graduations at Terry Sanford and Cape Fear high schools. The policy has been in place for years.

Other high schools in Cumberland County allow parents to take pictures from their seats or from a designated spot. Still, parents at those schools complain they are still too far away.

Student Gretta Hall does not see what the big deal is about.

"It's going to last a lifetime and you'll want to show your kids. It should be more of a formal thing instead of flashing. You can always have your cameras outside," she says.

Because of all the complaints, the principals at Terry Sanford and Cape Fear say they will revisit the policy next year.

Because of the petition, Terry Sanford will give each senior a free professional photograph.

Students can buy additional photographs, and the school will get a percentage of the order. Videos can be purchased for about $30.